Like it’s 1999

It might be winter here in Australia, but our British writer has been dashing around like a mad man at London Collections: Men getting a preview of what’s to come in SS14. And what did he find? Well, it looks like the 90s are continuing their style revival (making the decade that barely seems like yesterday officially retro!) But is this a look the modern man could, or would want to try and achieve?

Well according to our overseas contributor, the answer is in short: yes. Read on to find out why and how.

The trick to pulling off 90s style fashion is to not treat it as a trend. What I mean by this is you should avoid opting for statement ‘90s-style’ pieces such as acid-wash denim. Instead, try channelling a 90s aesthetic into your wardrobe next summer (or even before).

What I noticed on the runways during London Collections: Men was, again, a lot of sporty influences. Bomber jackets continue to be a must-own piece for every man’s collection, particular in pure black or monochrome. Contrast sleeves were also popular, especially on bomber jackets and other styles of outerwear.

The overall look was clean and minimal with a sporty undertone. We’re not talking sporty as in ‘lads-at-the-footie’ sporty, but an urban, stylish take on the look. Rucksacks also continue to be an essential piece, no matter your age. Of course be sensitive to the occasion (not every guy will choose to team his rucksack with a finely tailored suit), but they will always look great with casualwear.

Finally, 90s style looks set to stick around next season when it comes to footwear. This craze has been in full swing this summer here in London, and if this week’s London Collections were anything to go by; it’s worth investing in a pair of sporty shoe staples.

From high to low tops, guys everywhere have been reaching for the footwear styles they were rocking throughout the 1990s. If you’re feeling particularly daring, try teaming a pair of sporty sneakers with a sharp suit. Sound crazy? Perhaps, but it somehow works! Guys over here in London have been striding through the summer months nailing the smart-meets-casual look with ease.

Hoff

So there you have it gents. When it comes to your wardrobe next summer, get ready to party like it’s 1999…

The advantages of prints

 

The motto of the Stark’s of Winterfell is “winter is coming” – tell me you watch the Game of Thrones if not, this is a little awkward awkward – but this is a rather daft motto because, it says nothing of what we must do when winter arrives. One can hardly be expected to be looking forward to the winter when it’s there with you, day in day out. Anyway, as the clouds roll in, the rains come down, and the world becomes colder and greyer the high street has provided us with vibrant prints that we may distract ourselves from the chilly weather and the shorter day light hours.

 

Topman seems to be pushing this trend a little bit harder that the rest of its competitors as it’s carrying African fabric inspired print trousers by Dent de Man and a print heavy collaboration with Agi and Sam, who are well known for their use of eccentric prints.

 

The greatest advantage that this trend provides is that you will always stand out, as the vast majority of men in the world will be too conservative to even think about trying it. You on the other hand will be a commander of attention and a starter of conversation. The conversations you start and the attention you command may not always be positive, but it is infinitely better to be talked about than it is to be ignored.

 

Dent de Man trousers image

Dente de man

This pair of Dent de Man trousers from Topman provides an excellent middle between the extraordinary and the ordinary. They’ll allow you to express the fruitiest side of yourself, without being too conspicuous.

 

Agi and Sam suit image

 

If you’re a more risqué fellow, who doesn’t believe in moderation then this Agi and Sam suit is the one for you. Of course I’ll recommend that you at least wear a different coloured shirt from the suit to avoid blending in with the couch, or the wallpaper.

The Pea Coat: We salute you!

 

There are many reasons why winter might not be your favourite season, but one thing it does have is great style. From durable coats to cosy knits, make sure you wrap up in sartorial panache for the colder months ahead.

 

There is one particular style of outerwear that we believe every man needs to invest in: the pea coat. Whether it’s for work or weekend, this military-inspired staple is effortlessly stylish and will remain in your wardrobe a lifetime.

 

Nautical Origins

 

There are certain pieces of clothing that withstand decades, or sometimes even centuries, of ever-changing trends. A pea coat is one of these timeless garments, originating as far back as the 1720s where references to the pea jacket first appeared in American newspapers. Today, the distinctive style remains consistently relevant and often true to its original design.

 

Originally worn by sailors of European navies, pea coats are recognised by their wide lapels, double-breasted fronts and often over-sized wooden or metallic buttons. Traditionally made from 30-ounce wool, pea coats were designed to keep sailors warm at sea by retaining their body heat.

 

Mod to Modern Day

peacoat

The next stage of the pea coat’s journey was when it became more of a style statement than a practical piece. Although the parka is the first style of outerwear you would associate with the 1960s mods, a smarter approach to the look is to don a classic pea coat.

 

Today, the pea coat remains one of the most stylish pieces of men’s outerwear, while also remaining entirely practical. In recent years it has made a huge comeback, particularly with the resurgence of military style.

 

How to Wear the Pea Coat

 

What’s great about the pea coat is how versatile the piece of outerwear is. Whether you’re heading to the boardroom or the bar, this durable style will keep you both warm and naturally on-trend.

 

When you’re heading off on your commute to work, a classic navy pea coat will keep your tailored charcoal suit dry while ensuring you stand out from the crowd. When heading out with friends at the weekend, a black or grey style will work perfectly over a sporty polo or striped tee teamed with indigo jeans and loafers.

 

So what are you waiting for guys? Sail on in style…

Great Fathers day gifts – Black Titanium

With fathers day fast approaching, it is not uncommon to be completely out of ideas when it comes to getting gifts for the special man in our lives. And if you are sick of getting the same of old thing, such as a shirt, a pair of slippers or a new wallet, perhaps a Black Titanium product might be the answer.

Why I hear you ask. For a start, Black Titanium is an incredibly unique product, in fact only one company in the world has the patent on this product. So having something that everyone else does not have, is quite refreshing. It creates a great talking point when you wear your new piece.

Edward Mirell’s Black Titanium products are very versatile. There is something for everyone. That includes incredibly intricate designs, to more subtle low key designs.

Black Titanium Ring

Some Edward Mirell rings are quite simple, but stunningly effective in design

Interestingly, no one style of Black Titanium product is particularly more popular than another, which would indicate that there is something to cater to most peoples needs. The feedback that we get when clients receive their product is always extremely positive. The quality of the product is what stands out to most customers.

Black Titanium Necklace

The stunning Rapture collection of Black Titanium products, accented with a diagonal run of diamonds

So whatever you think the man in your (or your kids) life will like is very much a personal choice. However its generally not hard to work out from his personality if he will like a more basic design or something more complex.

Why not browse our range of black titanium rings and black titanium necklaces and bracelets, you might just find something that hits the spot this fathers day.

Alpha Rings talks to Edward Mirell about Black Titanium

Here is another instalment of our completely unrehearsed, unedited catch ups with Adam Rosenberg from Edward Mirell! To see the youtube footage, click here

Nick Fox:  Ok We’re here again with Adam Rosenberg from Edward Mirell, and Adam is going to just give us a bit of a rundown on Black Titanium

Adam Rosenberg: Yeah! Patented being the key word! First, as a quick snapshot, all of the materials, we have over 30 patents on materials and processes at Edward Mirell and Spectore Corporation which is our parent company.

Black Titanium is definitely one of our most popular, we actually came across it by accident. We were making a bracelet for Eddie Van Halen, and he wanted a design carved with a gold inlay into the bracelet, so when we were creating the material we had to soften the metal up because Titanium is so naturally hard. So we used an alloy, and then we’re trying to naturally melt the gold into the channel of the bracelet for the design that we made. We placed the bracelet in the oven and through the heating, the material turned black.

What actually happened, we thought, maybe we burnt the metal, but we actually made a molecular transformation, not to get too “science” here, but we changed the metal, we turned in black from outside in, creating this phenomenal ceramic hard surface. The problem with ceramics typically is that they are so hard that they’re brittle, and that they can crack under certain pressure.

Black Titanium barrel ring

Edward Mirell owns the patent on Black Titanium

Black Titanium still has that metal ductility in the centre, meaning that it has give, so if you were to drop it or hit it or anything like that, it cant break. But it has that absolute beautiful hardness, its got a brilliant shine to it, and it is absolutely one of our number one, it is our number one selling material right now.

All of the metals that we work with here at Edward Mirell are all medical grade, from our grey Titanium to our Cobalt to Black Titanium. We certify all our pieces within our collection with a certificate of authenticity, that really speaks of that quality level.  That’s something that you’re just not going to find in any other brand or any other product that doesn’t come from our manufacturing facility here in the USA.

 

Black Titanium offers the benefits of ceramic whilst still maintaining ductility

Black Titanium offers the benefits of ceramic whilst still maintaining ductility

NF: And when we talk about Black Titanium how does that differ from the Black Titanium, or what is marketed as Black Titanium out in the marketplace that is NOT Edward Mirell.

AR: Excellent question and this is definitely one of those buyer beware moments. Typically, well what they ARE doing, is that Titanium is the base metal for that piece of jewellery. But what creates that black is a PVD process. PVD stands for Powder Vapour Disposition, and its basically the same thing that they do with lawn furniture. So it’s a coating that’s on the surface of the metal that makes it black, and that can chip or scratch or basically flake away, so the metal itself is not black. We do own the patent on that process and that material. So that’s the only place that you’re going to see that is from our facility in Florida.

 

NF: One of the keys being there that if you scratch the powder coated “Black Titanium”, it will scratch a grey colour underneath, whereas the Edward Mirell one wont.

AR: Correct, yes. The Black Titanium in the Edward Mirell line is a ceramic hard surface, it’s the metal itself, its not a coating, so it can’t chip away.  The inside actually is somewhat grey in the centre of it – that’s what gives it the ductility, but it creates an oxide on the outside of the surface and it creates that ceramic hard surface.

NF: And I believe there’s some fairly large multinational companies that are interested in your Black Titanium product?

AR: There are, again that’s where pieces coming from our facility are the true Black Titanium, so there are some world class brands that really understand the importance and the growth of a contemporary metal jewellery category. And they want it done right and with the highest quality, and with the best material, with our patented processes, so there are some world class brands that you’ll see that do have Black Titanium. But so far as your standard jewellery brands that you may see shopping on the internet that tote themselves as Black Titanium, that’s where you really do need to be careful because we do own the only natural black metal in the market.

Life Lessons under London’s Lights

Whether you’re a fan of self-help or not, stop whatever you’re doing and read this book

Many of us live busy lifestyles in busy cities. So busy in fact, that we often forget to take the time to consider the things in life that really matter.

Sure, we love going out to fancy bars and restaurants. We love spending our time shopping (especially at Alpha Rings!), but deep down there does often seem to be something within us that feels like it’s missing.

Enter Chris Gill’s Oracles under City Lights. Now, we don’t tend to spend much time hanging around the self-help aisles of a book shop, so thankfully ‘Oracles’ avoids the cliché of this genre (or any other genre, for that matter).

The 25-year-old British indie author has drawn from the experiences he has gone through over the past three years since moving to London to create a contemporary, stylish and entirely relatable handbook for combating the stresses and strains of modern living.

From breaking into fashion writing and working London Fashion Week, to the experiences of the 2011 riots and other social, political and environmental events that have taken place over the last few years; no theme is left uncovered.

As you turn each page of this beautifully designed book, you really do travel through the eyes of the young author. The first chapter, City Lights, sees Chris starting out in the city with green eyes, an ambitious dream and an endearing sense of naivety that many will be able to relate to when thinking back to the start of their own careers.

It’s his career that then takes full focus in the second chapter, Creative vs. Commercial. The writer reflects on how he took a couple of media sales jobs in the hope that he would easily cross over to the editorial side of the magazines; turns out it wasn’t going to be that easy. Then once he finally makes the professional transition, Chris explains how fulfilling his ambitions did not lead to instant inner fulfilment.

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The third and fourth chapters of Oracles, An Alternate Vision Part One and Two, cover everything from Amy Winehouse’s death to the Occupy movement; before the final chapter, An Inner Light, attempts to draw lessons from all of the experiences Chris has gone through up to that point. This is where the book reaches its height of ‘self-helpness’, by this point you are ready for the author to shed some ‘light’.

On top of this, Oracles under City Lights includes a middle section (printed on contrast duck egg paper) of poetry, titled Verses 2.0. Picking up from where the independent author’s debut collection of poetry left off in 2011, expect a modern day take on the literary art that comes across as fresh as it does gripping.

If poetry’s not for you, then maybe you’ll prefer the final addition to this bold and unique book. Right at the back, Chris has included the first chapter of a ‘post-apocalyptic sci-fi novella’ he is currently working on, titled Surface to Air. Not only does it appear to have enough action to keep any man glued to the book, but the main character ‘Red’ sounds like one hot chick!

Whether you’re a fan of self-help or not, stop whatever you’re doing and read this book. We guarantee that it will change the way you look at your entire life.

Read an extract from the book and order your limited edition now: http://prntd.co.uk/oracles

Hitting the wedding

It can be said with a somewhat scientific degree of accuracy (although this might not stand up to a rigorous panel) that just about single guy that gets a wedding invite isn’t going to see their mate make a lifelong commitment to the love of their life.  Sure, it’s great…  For them.  But having to trawl through the internet for some sort of meaningful gift, sitting through a somewhat mundane wedding ceremony, having to awkwardly sing along to hymns you don’t know the words to, and then making small talk with guests at the reception all the while having to watch your intake of alcohol so you don’t inadvertently blurt out about that one time when you and the groom woke up naked in a side alley of Rome needs to have some kind of benefit.

 

Which leads us to…  The good thing about weddings.  Not only is it ridiculously easy to get drunk at a wedding.  It is also ridiculously easy to find someone to go home with.  After all, it’s not only the bride and groom who should be having all the fun!  With all this talk about love, isn’t it only right that you pay tribute to it by finding your own true love…  Or at least someone who’ll say yes to a fun-filled and naughty night?  If you follow some simple ground rules it shouldn’t be too hard to hit it off.  After all that’s what weddings are for, aren’t they?

 

Number one rule you ask?  Dress dapper.  Don’t even think about putting on that old suit you once had for that family occasion you once went to.  This is a wedding…  Put in some effort and dress sharp!  It’s always better to look more dressy than less. The great thing about weddings is that you’ll be surrounded by people you don’t know and who don’t know you.  Even if you typically slouch around in a pair of loafers and swim shorts, this is an occasion for you to play at being someone completely different.  International man of mystery, jet-set entrepreneur or billionaire playboy,  whatever your chosen look, you can pull it off at a wedding.

 

The good news is that as slim fitting suits have become more popular, you’ll find it easier to look your best on a small budget.  Slim fit suits with clean lines and a handsome peak lapel can be snapped up for under $250.  However if you’re struggling to get the right fit and you don’t already have a great suit or several thousand dollars to spend on getting a new one, we recommend hiring a suit for the special occasion.  Prices start from around a few hundred dollars and can increase to around who knows what depending on the suit or available options such as shoes, vests and neckwear.  The color of your suit is entirely up to you.

 

Remember, fit is everything.

 

You could go with a snappy looking slim-fitted black or navy blue suit with a white shirt and skinny tie or alternatively opt for a light linen suit, perfect for summer weddings.  Why not add some style to either with a matching pocket square along with a stylish pair of sunglasses? Perhaps a new titanium fashion ring?

 

Once you’ve got the look down, the rest is up to you.  Make yourself available, head to an area like the bar or buffet where you can easily get into a conversation with that pretty redhead without appearing you’re trying too hard.  If you’ve been eyeing each other all day, but you lack the courage, take your chance when the music is playing to approach her and invite her to dance.  It won’t appear awkward and will give you a chance to woo her with your witty charm.  And most importantly: smile.  Be approachable and confident and it will get you far…

Alpha Rings has a new website!

If you are reading this post then you have visited the new website of ALPHA Rings!

Featuring a responsive theme to create a better user experience no matter what device you are browsing with. We think the new site is cleaner and easier to navigate and so far the feedback from our customers has been almost 100% positive.

ALPHA Rings continues to bring you all the great products that have made us one of Australia’s most successful online mens wedding ring stores. We will gradually be increasing our selection of Edward Mirell products, with a particular focus on some great accessories such as bracelets and necklaces.

We are still the only place that clients can come to purchase the incredible, patented Edward Mirell Black Titanium products. So if you want a ring, and you want it black, ALPHA rings is the place to be.

 

Wearing a Ring Might Just Save Your Life One Day

Things have changed a lot since several generations ago, when men rarely wore wedding rings.  Following World War II, when many soldiers fighting abroad began to wear wedding rings as a fond reminder of their loved ones back home, now almost all married men choose to wear a wedding ring, both as a symbol of their commitment to their wives and to represent their marital status to others.  There are plenty of reasons why men choose to wear a wedding ring.  But few of them will ever have thought that their choice to wear a ring may just one day save their life.  As if you needed any further convincing, take note from the following true story:

 

Donnie Register, an ordinary man who never would have imagined that he’d ever be in any kind of life-threatening situation was working at his store in the Antique Market in Jackson, Mississippi when he was ambushed by two men who had asked to see a coin collection he had.  Rather than pulling out a wallet, one of the men pulled out a pistol while demanding money from the store keeper.  Realizing the man was about to pull the trigger, Register, happily married for over 38 years flung his hands up to his head and closed his eyes as the bullet flew from the chamber.

 

Police credit this quick thinking, and the wedding band he was wearing with saving his life.  In an amazingly fortunate twist of fate, rather than penetrate his skull, the bullet hit his wedding ring, deflecting most of its power as the bullet shattered into small pieces which lodged themselves into the skin around his fingers and neck but ultimately were non-fatal.  His wife, Darlene said she gave “God all the credit” but the facts remain that without the wedding ring, Donnie Register may never have survived.  “I think it’s a good lesson for men out there to learn that it’s a good idea to wear that ring” she continued, “It could come in handy someday”.  With a ring, now slightly bloody and a little dented, Donnie is grateful “I knew being married was a good thing.  I just didn’t know it was that good.”

 

Alpha certainly wont say that wearing one of their rings will save your life, but you certainly will look good in one! Check out our latest range right here